Riva del Garda

Riva Hotels

Riva del Garda is one of the most popular resorts on the lake, and the second largest town. If you want to experience a city that is a little more metropolitan than others around Lake Garda, give Riva a try.

Picturesque Riva

Riva is nestled between tall mountains and has a beautiful crescent shaped shore, making it one of the most picturesque cities around the lake. The city is home to a wide variety of cultural and sporting events that take place year round. Itís been a hotspot since the late 1800s, with tourism only increasing after World War I when the city became part of Italy. Before that time, it was mainly inhabited by German and Austrian tourists whose influence is still felt in the town today.

Walking down the Piazza III Novembre, youíll see how much the city has grown to accommodate tourists. This city square dates back to the 14th century and is home to two porticos Ė Palazzo Pretorio and Appondale Tower. In addition to hotels along the side of the Piazza, there are bars, pizzeria and shops. You can walk down the promenade and view the lake while enjoying a nice meal, a good drink or some great shopping.

Riva Attractions

One of the things that make Riva so unique compared to the other towns is its beach. Most of the cities on Lake Garda have very poor beachfronts, but Riva is different. Water sports are very popular in this area, and while youíre there you can take advantage of windsurfing and sailing. If these sports arenít your thing, there are plenty of shops to choose from. For a city of this size, the shopping opportunities are wide open! Shops range from high end boutique shops to the regular tourist fare. Some people make shopping their own sporting event while staying in Riva.

As modern as the city has become, it still holds on to its Medieval roots. The surviving city walls, portals, towers and moats speak to the long history of the town. Most central is the 12th century Fort. Today it is home to the Civic Museum, which is a nice way to spend an afternoon in Riva. There are art exhibits, mineralogical exhibits and a collection of artifacts from the area within the Fort. Admission is free for those under 20 and people over 60, and very reasonably priced for those in between. The Bastion is another architectural relic from a time gone by. Built in 1508, it sits on a steep slope and is one of the best places to view the city and the northern portion of Lake Garda.

Riva History

For more of Rivaís past, visit the St. Maria Assunta Church and the St. Tomasso Church. The former dates back to at least 1106, and underwent some major reconstruction in 1728. Visitors are allowed to tour the church and view itís collection of artwork from over the many years of the churchís history; like the nine baroque altars. It also includes the best work of Craffonara which is entitled ďLíAddolorata.Ē

The St. Tommaso Church is a small 12th century Romanesque church, located on the main road leading to the city. It makes a nice excursion away from the hustle and bustle of the main town. Youíll recognize it by its cone-shaped bell tower and external frescos.

Riva has a lot to offer within its city limits, but there are also some great sights just outside of town. You can visit the 300 feet high waterfall at Varone, and the enormous boulder field at Dro. If you feel like venturing outside of Italy itself, the Swiss border is nearby and convenient for day trips.

Riva has enough to experience that youíll want to come back again and again. With the sporting opportunities, shopping and historical monuments itís no wonder that itís one of the most popular spots on Lake Garda.